The September 2006 Edition of Street Spirit

A publication of the American Friends Service Committee


National AFSC AFSC Economic Justice BOSS Website



In this issue:

Police Raids on Fresno Homeless

Memorial to Mary Who Died

New Orleans After Katrina

Troubles for the Berkeley Housing Authority

Link Between Foster Care and Homelessness

An Epidemic of Rising Poverty

Angel Behind Prison Bars

Blaming Street People for Cody's Demise

MASC Storage Lockers Offer New Help

Interview with Osha Neumann, Artist/Attorney

Resisting Unjust CEO Pay Rates

Liberation from Hell of Addiction

Poor Leonard's Almanack: On Social Change

Sept. Poetry of the Streets

Review of Jan Steckel's Poems


July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005




Street Spirit is published by American Friends Service Committee.

All works are copyrighted by the authors.

The views expressed in Street Spirit are those of the individual authors alone, and not necessarily that of the American Friends Service Committee.

On Personal and Social Change

Poor Leonard's Almanack
Quotations and Original Thoughts
by Leonard Roy Frank
Street Spirit September 2006

Art by Christa Occhiogrosso

Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives. -- Martin Luther King Jr.

1. Change is most successful when those who are affected are involved in the planning.
WARREN BENNIS (management and leadership theorist), Why Leaders Can't Lead: The Unconscious Conspiracy Continues, 1989

2. When the hour... has come, the infection flashes like an electric spark over hundreds of miles.... The message goes through the air, and, in the one thing that counts all men are suddenly of one mind even if only in a blind conviction: Things must change.
JACOB BURCKHARDT (Swiss historian), "The Crises of History," 1869, Force and Freedom: An Interpretation of History, ed. by James Nichols, 1943

3. As you come to know the seriousness of our situation -- the war, the racism, the poverty in the world -- you come to realize it is not going to be changed just by words or demonstrations. It's a question of living your life in a drastically different way.
DOROTHY DAY (human rights activist, 1897-1980), quoted in Catholic Worker, June-July 1990

4. The human species is forever in a state of change, forever becoming.
SIMONE de BEAUVOIR (French philosopher), The Second Sex, 1950, translated by H. M. Parshley, 1952

5. Is there a spiritual reality, inconceivable to us today, which corresponds in history to the physical reality which Einstein discovered and which led to the atomic bomb? Einstein discovered a law of physical change: the way to convert a single particle of matter into enormous physical energy. Might there not also be, as Gandhi suggested, an equally incredible and [as yet] undiscovered law of spiritual change, whereby a single person or small community of persons could be converted into an enormous spiritual energy capable of transforming a society and a world?
JAMES W. DOUGLASS (human rights activist), Lightning East to West, 1980

6. Discontent is the first necessity of progress.
THOMAS ALVA EDISON (inventor, 1847-1931), The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison, edited by Dagobert D. Runes, 1948

7. When I see changed men, I shall look for a changed world.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON (philosopher), journal, London, April 1848

8. How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world!
ANNE FRANK (Jewish diarist and Nazi death-camp victim), 1944, Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex, translated by Ralph Manheim and Michel Mok, 1984

9. All progress lay through opposites to their reconciliation.
FRIEDRICH FROEBEL (German educator, 1782-1852), quoted in Robert Hebert Quick, Essays on Educational Reformers, 1897

10. The human condition is something at once horrible and marvelous. Estamos muy mal hechos, pero no estamos terminados. We are very badly made, but we are not finished.
EDUARDO GALEANO (Uruguayan journalist and social critic), David Barsamian interview, Progressive, July 1999

11. No good comes fully fashioned, out of God's hand, but has to be carved out through repeated experiments and repeated failures by ourselves. This is the law of individual growth. The same law controls social and political evolution also. The right to err, which means the freedom to try experiments, is the universal condition of all progress.
MOHANDAS K. GANDHI (Indian spiritual and political leader), M. K. Gandhi: Speeches and Writings, 1918

12. An epoch will come when people will disclaim kinship with us as we disclaim kinship with the monkeys.
KAHLIL GIBRAN (Lebanese poet, 1883-1931), "Sayings," Spiritual Sayings of Kahlil Gibran, translated by Anthony R. Ferris, 1962

13. The predicament of contemporary man is grave. We seem to be destined either for a new mutation or for destruction.
ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL (Polish-born U.S. theologian, 1907-1972), A Passion for Truth, 1973

14. To transform the world and society, we must first and foremost transform ourselves.
HO CHI MINH (North Vietnamese president), speech, 7 September 1957, Ho Chi Minh on Revolution, 1967

15. Up to now, whenever a society turned a new leaf, it had the devil at its elbow.
ERIC HOFFER (San Franciscan longshoreman and writer), Reflections on the Human Condition, 1973

16. I think it not improbable that man, like the grub that prepares a chamber for the winged thing it never has seen but is to be -- that man may have cosmic destinies that he does not understand. And so beyond the vision of battling races and an impoverished earth, I catch a dreaming glimpse of peace.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES JR. (Supreme Court chief justice), "Law and the Court," speech at the Harvard Law School Association of New York, 15 February 1913

17. The process of evolution can only be described as the gradual insertion of more and more freedom into matter.
T. E. HULME (English philosopher, 1883-1917), "The Philosophy of Intensive Manifolds," Speculations: Essays on Humanism and the Philosophy of Art, 1924

18. It is as if man had been suddenly appointed managing director of the biggest business of all, the business of evolution -- appointed without being asked if he wanted it, and without proper warning and preparation. What is more, he can't refuse the job. Whether he wants to or not, whether he is conscious of what he is doing or not, he is in point of fact determining the future direction of evolution on this earth. That is his inescapable destiny, and the sooner he realizes it and starts believing in it, the better for all concerned.
JULIAN HUXLEY (English biologist), "Transhumanism," New Bottles for New Wine, 1957

19. Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority, the cherishing of the keenest skepticism, the annihilation of the spirit of blind faith.
T. H. HUXLEY (English biologist), "On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge," 1866, Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews, 1870

20. Man as we know him is a poor creature; but he is halfway between an ape and a god, and he is traveling in the right direction.
DEAN WILLIAM RALPH INGE (English prelate), "Confessio Fidei," Outspoken Essays: 2nd Series, 1922

21. Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and inalienable rights of man.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Maj. John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

22. Our rationalistic attitude leads us to believe that we can work wonders with international organizations, legislation, and other well-meant devices. But in reality only a change in the attitude of the individual can bring about a renewal in the spirit of the nations. Everything begins with the individual.
CARL G. JUNG (Swiss psychiatrist), "The Role of the Unconscious," 1918, Civilization in Transition, translated by R. F. C. Hull, 1964

23. Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., "Nonviolence: The Only Road to Freedom," Ebony, October 1966

24. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
MARGARET MEAD (anthropologist, 1901-1978)

25. The greatest step forward in human evolution was made when society began to help the weak and the poor, instead of oppressing and despising them.
MARIA MONTESSORI (Italian physician and educator), The Absorbent Mind, 1949, translated by Claude A. Claremont, 1969

26. For its effective salvation mankind will need to undergo something like a spontaneous religious conversion: one that will replace the mechanical world picture with an organic world picture, and give to the human personality, as the highest known manifestation of life, the precedence it now gives to its machines and computers. This order of change is as hard for most people to conceive as was the change from the classic power complex of Imperial Rome to that of Christianity, or, later, from supernatural medieval Christianity to the machine-modeled ideology of the seventeenth century. But such changes have repeatedly occurred all through history; and under catastrophic pressure they may occur again. Of only one thing we may be confident. If mankind is to escape its programmed self-extinction the God who saves us will not descend from the machine: he will rise up again in the human soul.
LEWIS MUMFORD (historian), The Pentagon of Power: The Myth of the Machine, 1970

27. Change occurs when there is a confluence of both changing values and economic necessity, not before.
JOHN NAISBITT, Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives, 1984

28. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, "Zarathustra's Prologue," Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1892, translated by R. J. Hollingdale, 1961

29. The universe evolves by our all becoming increasingly more ourselves and more willing to take responsibility for the world we are creating together.
CAROL S. PEARSON (writer and editor), The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By, 1989

30. Every inch of progress is won in struggle.
KATHA POLLITT (journalist), slightly modified, "The Cheese Stands Alone," Nation, 21 March 2005

31. The reason why the race of man moves slowly is because it must move all together.
THOMAS BRACKETT REED (Speaker of the House of Representatives), speech, Waterville (Maine), 30 July 1885

32. We stand in witness to a planet-wide mutation of mind which promises to liberate energies of will and resources of vision long maturing in the depths of our identity.
THEODORE ROSZAK (historian), quoted in Eugene Taylor, "Desperately Seeking Spirituality," Psychology Today, December 1994

33. I am in the world to change the world.
MURIEL RUKREYSER (poet), "Women in the Market," The Speed of Darkness, 1968

34. There is no reason why, in the ages to come, the sort of man who is now exceptional should not become usual, and if that were to happen, the exceptional man in that new world would rise as far above Shakespeare as Shakespeare now rises above the common man.
BERTRAND RUSSELL (English philosopher), Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1962

35. The absolute impossibility of the continuance of the state in its present condition must become the universal conviction before things can become in any way better.
ALBERT SCHWEITZER (German physician and theologian), The Philosophy of Civilization: Civilization and Ethics, 1923, translated by C. T. Campion and Mrs. Charles E. B. Russell, 1946

36. A man differs from a microbe only in being further on the path.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (Irish playwright), Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch, 1921

37. All change in history, all advance, comes from the nonconformists. If there had been no troublemakers, no dissenters, we should still be living in caves.
A.J.P. TAYLOR (British historian), The Trouble Makers, 1958

38. Civilizations... come to birth and proceed to grow by successfully responding to successive challenges. They break down and go to pieces if and when a challenge confronts them which they fail to meet.
ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE (English historian), "The Graeco-Roman Civilization," 1930, Civilization on Trial, 1948

39. Man calls himself the crown of creation. He has a certain right to that claim. But who has asserted that present-day man is the last and highest representation of the species homo sapiens?
LEON TROTSKY (Russian revolutionary and writer), The History of the Russian Revolution, 1932

40. In the center of all, and object of all, stands the Human Being, towards whose heroic and spiritual evolution poems and everything directly or indirectly tend, Old World or New.
WALT WHITMAN (poet), preface to November Boughs, 1888

41. We're all of us guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (playwright), Camino Real, 1953

42. Individual transformation and social transformation must accompany each other for either to endure.

43. The death throes of the old order are the birth pangs of the new one.

44. The direction of progress is inside-out.

45. Progress which does not carry everyone forward is an illusion.

46. What is not evolving is devolving.


Leonard Roy Frank is the editor of Random House Webster's Quotationary.

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